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STOP #198

Finally we had a more or less normal length travel day.

Today we have moved to Lake Thunderbird State Park which is just south of Oklahoma City, OK. Reader's Digest has rated this the #1 state park in all of Oklahoma.

Our campsite in the Little Axe Campground backs up to the beautiful Lake Thunderbird.

We are only visiting here for three nights, but we have one whole day of sightseeing planned for tomorrow.

Campsite #9 at Little Axe Campground in Lake Thunderbird State Park.

TUESDAY - Today is Sightseeing Day!

First up is the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. We didn't plan it this way, but yesterday was the 26th Anniversary of the bombing. There were media and crowds of people around the site all day. Glad we missed that!

Today was much less crowded, so much so that we scored a parking spot right across the street from the entrance to the museum.

We didn't take any photos inside the museum, we were allowed to, but there was so much to see and do that it just never seemed right to bring out the camera.

Like most museums, you are on a self guided tour. You can take in as little or as much information as you like. Spend an hour and breeze through the two floors of displays, or spend the entire day and watch a dozen different short videos and read every piece of signage in front of the numerous displays. We spent a little over two hours there a got a detailed overview of the entire museum.

Outside is the memorial site, where so much symbolism was designed into the site it may go undetected if you don't read the brochure or listen to the free app you can download onto your phone. We observed the memorial site from inside the museum, behind the floor to ceiling windows on that side of the building.

Today at 11:00AM it was still 39°F with 20MPH winds, too cold for these two Floridians to be outside for any lentgth of time.

Next up are a couple of Route 66 attractions here in Oklahoma City.

First up is Milk Bottle Grocery on the Original Route 66 in Oklahoma City. Distinguishing features of the store include that it is triangular shaped, is located in the middle of the street and has no sidewalk in front of the door. Oh yeah, there is also a huge milk bottle on the roof.

The building was constructed in the 1930s and the bottle was added to the roof in the late 1940s as an advertising gimmick. Today the store appeared empty and just another Route 66 roadside attraction.

Second stop is Pop's 66 Soda Ranch, a huge gas station with a café and 700 different flavors of soda. That's right, 700! It's not a typo. There is a huge lighted soda bottle out front, complete with a straw, to make sure you don't miss it, day or night.

We went inside and were quickly overwhelmed by what we saw. Bottles of soda and gifts of all kinds everywhere. We each grabbed a cardboard six pack holder and began making our selections. At $2.49 each they aren't cheap, but most of these I've never seen before. Where else are you going to find them all in one place?

I selected sodas with flavors like Boot's Caramel Apple and Dewberry flavors from Bellville Texas, Boylan Black Cherry from New York New York, Cherry Limeade from Dublin Texas, Route 66 Lime Soda from Wilmington Illinois and Dang That's Good Butterscotch Root Beer from Milwaukee Wisconsin.

Tricia's selections included Grape and Green Apple from Dublin Texas, Dang That's Good Root Beer from Milwaukee Wisconsin, Hosmer Tangerine Sparkling Water from Willimantic Connecticut, Route 66 Root Beer from Wilmington Illinois and Jarritos Mandarin Orange from El Paso Texas.

No doubt we will be sampling these new flavors for the next month or so.


Well one of my sodas didn't survive the first night in THE POD.

Who am I kidding, it didn't even survive the first hour.

But I had some help, Tricia.

My Caramel Apple flavor soda was the first casualty. It was obviously different than anything else I've tasted and I would rate it an 8 out of 10. It had kind of a strudel taste! That's 1 down and 11 to go.

WEDNESDAY - Well today was an expensive day.

This morning I got up early and took ROVER to the Ford Dealership in Norman, OK. With nearly 50,000 miles on the truck it was time for an oil change and so much more.

After wearing out the original set of brake pads in just 15,000 miles, traveling up and down the Shenandoah Mountains and Blue Ridge Parkway that first year, the second set now has 35,000 miles on them and it's time once again to change them out. They do get a workout stopping ROVER and all our extra gear. Also at least a third of the time THE POD is attached too, although it has it's own brakes that help out.

Speaking of 50,000 miles, it's also time to change out all four tires on ROVER. I probably could have gotten away with just changing two right now, but I've been wanting to switch from running passenger tires to light truck tires.

I stuck with the Goodyear brand since the first set lasted so well. The light truck tires have a little bit tougher tread and the sidewalls are reinforced with Kevlar to minimize the possibility of rocks being able to puncture the tire. All this is done in preparation for the poor road conditions we may see in the National Forests and Grasslands later this year and for the Alaskan roads we expect to see next year.

A new pair of wiper blades and a front end alignment brought the total bill to nearly $1400. A lot of money but ROVER is now hopefully ready for another three years of dependable service.

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